With the new year, I invite you to consider this passage of Scripture.
Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
New Years resolutions. You promise yourself you’ll quit smoking, lose ten pounds, take that vacation or buy that dream car. Did you know that 92% of new years resolutions are never followed through on? All the stress and work and wasted effort. I think it’s time for a new way.
What if instead of wasting all that time on trying to manufacture the results we want, we allow God to work through us and follow His plan for our lives?
What if instead of spending all the time and effort to generate a list of resolutions or goals, we let God dictate our life plan.
Looking into the Bible for direction, here are some passages of Scripture that illuminates God’s Plan for you.
God’s Plan Regarding Your Welfare
1. God will provide for your daily needs.
Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33)
2. You are never alone. God will provide you with the help of the Holy Spirit.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26)
3. God will provide you the way out of temptation.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
4. God will provide you joy.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)
5. God will provide you with what you need to do his will.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
6. God will provide you with spiritual strength.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father…that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being. (Ephesians 3:14,16)
7. God will provide you with eternal protection.
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
8. God will provide you with great blessings that will correspond with things lost.
Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30)
9. God will provide you with a chosen role in his body, the church.
But as it is, God arranged all the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. (1 Corinthians 12:18)
God’s Plan Regarding Your Future
10. God promises that one day you will be with him.
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:2-3)
11. God promises that one day his work in you will be complete.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
12. God promises that one day you will be like Jesus.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
13. God promises that one day you will see his face.
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:3-5)
14. God promises that one day he will wipe away every tear from your eyes.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
God’s Plan Regarding Your Hope
15. God gives you hope that you have an inheritance.
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. (Ephesians 1:16-18)
16. God gives you hope that the promise of the gospel is securely laid up for you in heaven.
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel. (Colossians 1:3-5)
17. God gives you hope that death is not the end.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
18. God gives you hope that you are not destined for wrath, but salvation.
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. (1 Thessalonians 5:8-10)
19. God gives hope that you have been born again to a new life, one day to be revealed.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:3-4)
20. God gives hope that you have seen God manifest in Jesus.
He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:21)
Everything We Need
We can still make plans and set goals and resolutions, but we should always remember that God has already provided for us and we need to partner with Him. Our goals and resolutions will only succeed when we allow God to work through us.
God has provided a way for us to live the life we were created for: to glorify and enjoy him forever. And that, my friends, is his truly good plan for our lives.